It’s been a few weeks, but Must-Have Monday is back! With perfect timing, because this week promises to be a good one!Create My Own Perfection by E.H. Timms
Representation: Aroace MC
on 2nd April 2021
"It's not every day you get to put the fear of Medusa into a god."
Emma Stone, medusa, is the groundskeeper for Olson College of Extensive Education, a place where everyone is welcome, from the mythical to the magical. When her selkie best friend loses her skin in Fresher's week, the race is on to find it before someone uses it against her.
The search brings Emma face to face with her oldest enemy - and forces her to confront the worst nightmares of her past.
This was released just last week, but it’s awesome so I’m including it. EH Timms wrote for Queerly Loving Volume One, which is where I first encountered their work, but this time they don’t need to share the spotlight! And doesn’t this premise sound amazing???Local Star by Aimee Ogden
on 5th April 2021
Genres: Sci Fi, Queer Protagonists
Local Star is a polyamorous space opera with a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that’s sure to punch you in the feels. It follows guttergirl Triz as she saves her hub from invaders from the Cyberbionautic Alliance, all the while negotiating her rekindled romance with Kalo, her ex who's returned from battle and won't stop hanging around the wrenchworks.
Local Star is out TODAY, and it’s by the same author as the incredible Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters, which is already one of my favourites of 2021! So I’m ridiculously excited to get to read this, and very glad it’s a Bank Holiday here in Finland so there’s nothing to distract me from it!House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
on 6th April 2021
Genres: Urban Fantasy
A dark, twisty modern fairytale where three sisters discover they are not exactly all that they seem and evil things really do go bump in the night.
Iris Hollow and her two older sisters are unquestionably strange. Ever since they disappeared on a suburban street in Scotland as children only to return a month a later with no memory of what happened to them, odd, eerie occurrences seem to follow in their wake. And they’re changing. First, their dark hair turned white. Then, their blue eyes slowly turned black. They have insatiable appetites yet never gain weight. People find them disturbingly intoxicating, unbearably beautiful, and inexplicably dangerous.
But now, ten years later, seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow is doing all she can to fit in and graduate high school on time–something her two famously glamourous globe-trotting older sisters, Grey and Vivi, never managed to do. But when Grey goes missing without a trace, leaving behind bizarre clues as to what might have happened, Iris and Vivi are left to trace her last few days. They aren’t the only ones looking for her though. As they brush against the supernatural they realize that the story they’ve been told about their past is unraveling and the world that returned them seemingly unharmed ten years ago, might just be calling them home.
This is one of my most-anticipated April releases, especially after I fell in love with the prose from the excerpt posted online. I have no real idea of what to expect, story-wise, but I’m excited to find out!First, Become Ashes by K.M. Szpara
Representation: M/M or mlm, Gay MC, Nonbinary MC
on 6th April 2021
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Urban Fantasy
The Fellowship raised Lark to kill monsters.His partner betrayed them to the Feds.But Lark knows his magic is real, and he'll do anything to complete his quest.
K. M. Szpara follows Docile, one of the most anticipated science fiction novels of 2020, with First, Become Ashes, a fantastic standalone adventure that blends pain and pleasure and will make readers question what is real, and what is magical.
Lark spent the first twenty-four years, nine months, and three days of his life training for a righteous quest: to rid the world of monsters. Alongside his partner Kane, he wore the cage and endured the scourge in order to develop his innate magic. He never thought that when Kane left, he'd next see him in the company of FBI agents and a SWAT team. He never dreamed that the leader of the Fellowship of the Anointed would be brought up on charges of abuse and assault.
He never expected the government would tell him that the monsters aren't real--that there is no magic, and all the pain was for nothing.
Lark isn't ready to give up. He is determined to fulfill his quest, to defeat the monsters he was promised. Along the way he will grapple with the past, confront love, and discover his long-buried truth.
Aaaaand, this is one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I loved Szpara’s debut Docile, and I’ve loved his short fiction, so I fully expect to love this one too. It sounds messed-up and queer as fuck and maybe-magical, which basically ticks all of my boxes.
I’m a terrible person, but this sounds like it’s going to be an incredible book.The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1) by Akemi Dawn Bowman
on 6th April 2021
Genres: Sci Fi
Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years. The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.
When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.
As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.
From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes an incisive, action-packed tale that explores big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity.
Westworld meets Warcross in this high-stakes, dizzyingly smart sci-fi about a teen girl navigating an afterlife in which she must defeat an AI entity intent on destroying humanity, from award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman.
I have heard only good things about this book. It’s the start of a series, not a standalone, and the premise sounds amazingly interesting. I really want to see what Bowman does with this!Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian
Representation: Indian-American MC
on 6th April 2021
An Indian-American magical realist coming of age story, spanning two continents, two coasts, and four epochs, in razor sharp and deeply funny prose, Sathian captures what it is to grow up as a member of a family, of a diaspora, and of the American meritocracy.
A floundering second-generation teenager growing up in the Bush-era Atlanta suburbs, Neil Narayan is authentic, funny, and smart. He just doesn't share the same drive as everyone around him. His perfect older sister is headed to Duke. His parents' expectations for him are just as high. He tries to want this version of success, but mostly, Neil just wants his neighbor across the cul-de-sac, Anita Dayal.
But Anita has a secret: she and her mother Anjali have been brewing an ancient alchemical potion from stolen gold that harnesses the ambition of the jewelry's original owner. Anjali's own mother in Bombay didn't waste the precious potion on her daughter, favoring her sons instead. Anita, on the other hand, just needs a little boost to get into Harvard. But when Neil--who needs a whole lot more--joins in the plot, events spiral into a tragedy that rips their community apart.
Ten years later, Neil is an oft-stoned Berkeley history grad student studying the California gold rush. His high school cohort has migrated to Silicon Valley, where he reunites with Anita and resurrects their old habit of gold theft--only now, the stakes are higher. Anita's mother is in trouble, and only gold can save her. Anita and Neil must pull off one last heist.
Gold Diggers is a fine-grained, profoundly intelligent, and bitingly funny investigation in to questions of identity and coming of age--that tears down American shibboleths.
A magical realism novel that appeared on my radar last-minute, this sounds like it has the potential to be really clever. I don’t know anything about Sathian, and magical realism is always a bit hit and miss for me, but I really want to give this one a try!Star Eater by Kitty Shields
on 6th April 2021
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Enter a different kind of L.A., where mobsters are daemons, high school students are possessed, and frozen yogurt is the first step to solving every problem.
Kai is possessed by his demon, Akuma, and has been for eleven years. And for eleven years he's managed to keep that tidbit of information a secret. His parents think the strange side effects of having a pet demon are due to a physical disability, but boy and demon have reached a happy equilibrium, and leaving Kai's parents in the dark is essential to that.
Life is, well, not grand but serviceable until a mobster recognizes Kai and Akuma for what they are, and he needs Kai's power to break out a very dangerous criminal. As Kai gets sucked into the L.A. supernatural underground, he finds that the mob knows more about his demon than he does and what he doesn't know is very, very dangerous.
As Kai and Akuma try and navigate through the sea of other monsters in the dark, they have to do it while pretending to be the most mysterious creature of all: a normal teenager.
I know nothing about this author either, but the book sounds amazing (and the awesome title definitely doesn’t hurt). It’s also apparently queer??? I am immensely intrigued!
What books are you looking forward to this week?